Battle of Hastings re-enactment to return

THE Battle of Hastings re-enactment will return in 2014, it was confirmed this week.

The annual spectacle, which attracts participants and spectators from across the UK, Europe and beyond, did not take place last year after wet weather in 2012 took its toll on the battlefield.

The 2012 re-enactment, coupled with a torrential downpour, left the field a muddy mess.

English Heritage, which owns the site, took the decision to cancel the second day of the re-enactment, citing ‘unacceptably high levels of mud’.

No major events took place on the battlefield in 2013, to allow time for the area to be re-seeded and rested, following expert advice.

The restoration work left English Heritage with a £50,000 bill.

Earlier this month, Jo Stewart, property manager at Battle Abbey, said the battlefield was expected to reopen to the public in spring.

And following lengthy discussions, English Heritage has now confirmed that the Battle of Hastings re-enactment will return to the site on October 11 and 12.

But to avoid a repeat of the great mud bath of 2012, Jo says changes will need to be made.

She told the Observer: “The event will be the same, but it’s just we are going to be thinking about how we are going to get people on and off the field and that kind of thing.

“Logistically we are having to rethink the organisation of it because we need to protect the battlefield.”

* English Heritage has unveiled a new event to take place on the 1066 battlefield on the weekend of August 2/3.

The Knights’ Tournament will see four teams of armoured knights doing battle on the historic site and will feature genuine swordplay.

More details will be revealed nearer the time.